articles of chapter 6

What is the true faith that saves you?

 

 

Is any church right in all matters?

I set out to ponder this question with the wonder that, throughout history, the Bible’s truth has been interpreted in the most bizarre way possible. I will raise many issues, but I will have to confine myself to a superficial mention for most. However, I try to interpret based on my understanding of the doctrinal questions that believers quarrel with.

Who is right after all? And this is an important point: is being right always absolutely necessary? Is any church right in all matters?

I’m sure the desire to seek the truth is more important to God than with others about bickering – and winning. Even if the believer does not find the church in his mind, he can be comforted by the promise of Jesus. Jesus promises everyone who loves him that” If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. (Joh 14:23). Love for Jesus is the most important. Not believing by any formula or any church doctrine.

The doctrinal dispersion began as early as the early churches when the apostles were still alive. Paul describes the situation in 1 Cor 1:12 “Now I mean this, that each one of you says, I follow Paul, I follow Apollos, I follow Cephas, and, I follow Christ.” And again: 3:4 “For when one says, I belong to Paul, and another, I belong to Apollos, you are merely human, aren’t you?”

As early as 2,000 years ago, people acted according to their nature and sought to support a particular opinion line. Feels familiar. That’s the way it is today.

What about the churches of Christ? After all, they make every effort to spread the gospel message in its purest form, right? So you would think, perceptions were divided among the parishioners and the parishes. The book of Revelation compares different churches. Although the churches in Revelation describe the first churches, they have also been interpreted to predict the churches’ developmental features in the future, that is, in modern times.

According to this, modern society can be found in the description of the Laodicean church. Its essential feature, according to Jesus, is Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things:

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.

16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;

18 Therefore, I advise you to buy from me gold purified in fire so that you may be rich, white clothes to wear so that you may keep the shame of your nakedness from showing, and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things:

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.

16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;

18 Therefore, I advise you to buy from me gold purified in fire so that you may be rich, white clothes to wear so that you may keep the shame of your nakedness from showing, and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.”

In this paper, I will use examples to look at how people today believe the Bible’s word in so many different ways. Different ways of believing lead to confrontation. I agree in many doctrinal issues with the Protestant Churches but also disagree in some matters.

When we stand before Christ in the final judgment, he might say, “Oh you, you could not accept different views, but you were at loggerheads and even started wars of faith. You did not realize that the word of God was left ambiguous for you to begin to examine what is the truth. You could not distinguish important things from trivial ones. You were little souls.”

Different opinions and interpretations give rise to confrontations that have even led to wars. What kinds of things have led to differing opinions about faith?

 

The canon of the Bible

The books of the New Testament (canon) were first defined by the Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasios, in 367. A large number of writings were available, but few were accepted. The scriptures chosen, of course, had to follow the same historical description and confession of faith. Of course, it could not have been possible to include in the Bible scriptures that are contradictory. If one scripture accepts the virgin birth of Jesus, one who claims otherwise cannot be obtained.

Even today, the Bibles of different denominations contain somewhat other writings. One such omitted is the gnostic Gospel of Thomas. Thomas, or Judas Didymos Thomas, was a disciple known as “doubting Thomas” who did not believe in Jesus’ resurrection until he was able to touch his wounds (John 20: 24-25).

 

The Gospel of Thomas

Of the coming of the Kingdom of God, the Gospel of Thomas says: 

113. His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”

“It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Rather, the Father’s Kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.”

Luke writes of the same thing: 17:20 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

– Pretty much the same; The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be seen because the Kingdom of God is within man.

The most Gnostic, in turn, is the following verse 114: “Simon Peter said to him, Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life. Jesus said, I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

– Verses like this are guaranteed to be the basis for the most diverse interpretations and doctrinal controversies.

The Lutheran Church defines the content of Gnosticism: “Gnosticism combined Christianity with Hellenistic mysticism and philosophy. In Gnosticism, Christ is understood as the bringer of secret, saving knowledge, and only ostensibly as man. Gnosticism represented a sharp dualistic worldview. Spirit signified the world of light and matter the world of darkness. Asceticism, or the simple way of life belonged to the Gnostic communities everyday life. Salvation was achieved when man realized that his own origin was with the true God. The Gnostic, as the holder of secret knowledge, is above others, and therefore the crucifixion of Jesus was not considered to be a part of man’s salvation.” (I’m not too fond of such obscure explanations)

Gnosticism is just one example of a faith that would further confuse believers if incorporated into the present Bible.

1945 In Upper Egypt, near the city of Nag Hammad, a large clay pot with a whole set of Coptic inscriptions was found. Among these was the gospel baptized as the gospel of Thomas. Its first line began: “The living Jesus spoke these secret words, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down.” Decades earlier, some excerpts in Greek had been found. The text contained many of the New Testament teachings, but some passages differed completely from all known Christian tradition.

Many criticize common Christian beliefs, such as virgin birth or bodily resurrection, which are called naive misunderstandings.

The writing dates are estimated to be in the second century, perhaps in the 120s and 150s. Still, it may contain genealogical information from earlier times, such as the New Testament Gospels, perhaps as early as 50-100, that is, the same or even earlier than the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. The gospel of Thomas is said to contain the secret lore of Jesus hidden from members of the Catholic Church born at the same time.

The power struggle took place during the 300s and 400s between Catholic and Gnostic Christianity. The significant influence of Gnostic doctrine was a fact. Catholic Christianity began to prevail when Emperor Constantine the Great had converted in favor of Christianity in the 310s. In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordained Christianity as the Roman Empire’s official religion when the Catholic bishops finally prevailed and began to rule.

 

Ecclesiastical meetings

Ecclesiastical assemblies were Catholic gatherings for centuries. There were no other significant churches. Catholics had to fight sects that they considered heretical.

Christianity became a religion accepted by the Roman state in the early 300s and gradually strengthened its position as the official state religion. Simultaneously, high-ranking clergymen, bishops, and the Pope belonging to the Catholic Church organization gained more and more decision-making power. The life of the Church and its congregations was separated from a simple gathering together and the practice of faith and the breaking of bread in the name of mutual love.

Church meetings began to determine the content of the faith. There, a creed was established that obligated everyone to accept and obey it if they were to be saved and survive. Those who did not accept the doctrines ordained by the synod (about the doctrines of Triune God or Jesus’ dual nature) could lose their lives.

These doctrines from the 4th century are still valid as doctrines. I protest that the churches accept in their meetings doctrines that are not from the Bible. Can anyone point out where in the Bible, the Triune God’s doctrine or the Divine and human nature of Jesus is proclaimed?

Mat 8-9 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.’

 

Sects

By “sects,” I mean believers who have not been accepted by the Churches as Christian denominations. There is often a reason for rejection, one or some doctrinal questions. Often the reason has been that the community has not accepted the Pope as its leader. Or the reason has been a prohibited procedure, such as the re-baptism of those who have been baptized as an infant. These ‘anabaptists’ were persecuted and killed. Whatever for? Perhaps because those baptized at an older age might choose some other religion, according to their own heads.

Trinitarian, but according to some scholars nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father, and is distinct from the Father and therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God the Son but not co-eternal with God the Father. Arian theology was first attributed to Arius (c. AD 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. (Wikipedia)

The Arians did not accept the Catholic Church’s claim that “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all completely gods.” In the 300s, Arius claimed that Jesus was not God, but he was a created man. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious group that is not even considered Christian because they are unitarians, and Jesus is believed to be an angel in the first place. I think it is very wrong to exclude them from other Christians’ circle; the most devout Christians are difficult to find. They direct their prayers to “God the Father through his Beloved Son Jesus.” They thus confess to worship one God, whose son Jesus Christ is.

Methodists

There are about 80 million Methodists in the world. They believe God is triune.

Adventists seek to interpret the Bible in support of the message produced by their prophet Ellen G. White. They regard their church as a remnant church for the last days. Keeping Sunday on Lord’s Day is considered a ‘sign of the beast.’ 

Mormons familiarly acknowledge God: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” When you get acquainted with the doctrine, you will notice e.g., that “One peculiar thing in Mormon theology is the doctrine of the evolution of God. According to it, God has been a good person on some planet and then evolved into a god. Also, the planet where God has lived has his own God, who has evolved from man to another planet that has had his own God, etc., etc. The God of the Mormon Father, the Elohim, has a body of flesh and bone. This is because he has been human in the past.” – The doctrine sounds weird. Nevertheless, millions of Mormons strive to Nevertheless, millions of Mormons strive to love their neighbors. 

Pentecostals

Some so-called Pentecostal directions, such as Oneness Pentecostals: Oneness theology, explicitly state that God is absolutely and indivisibly one. Oneness Pentecostals believe that the Trinitarian doctrine is a “tradition of men” and neither scriptural nor a teaching of God, and cite the absence of the word “Trinity” from the Bible as one evidence of this. (Wikipedia).

The Arians were the first significant group to honestly believe in one God like the Jews. Today, these groups’ common name is Unitarianism, whose supporters believe that God is one person. Universalism, on the other hand, means that everyone is saved. Together, these two form Unitarian Universalism. Of course, one may ask whether faith applies to one or three divine persons once all are saved, as universalism says. 

The Cathars influenced the two sides of the second millennium. Its most substantial area was in the south of France. Still, in the 12th century and France, there were Cathars in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and the Balkans, and to some extent in England and Russia. Cathars in the south of France were also called “albigens” because they were especially abundant in Albi’s regions.

Their name comes from the Greek word katharos, which means pure. The Cathars considered themselves to represent pure Christianity, unlike the Catholic Church.

The Cathars claimed that God’s good forces and the forces of Satan (King of this world, Rex Mundi) were fighting for human souls without gaining the upper hand over the other. This was not acceptable to the Catholic Church and so they persecuted the Cathars as heretical. Indeed, over time, the Catholic Church succeeded almost totally in destroying the Cathar society.

The religious field has calmed down from extremes, at least in the West. However, I have taken note of some of the intra-denominational activities to keep members obedient. Some succeed so well that even a “Trumpet of truth” like myself fails to get ordinary people into other thoughts on matters of faith.

 

The Creeds

The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, each born before the great schism when Christianity was divided.

Most Western denominations accept all three ecumenical confessions. These include the Reformed Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican denominations, and the Lutheran Churches. Many Methodist churches accept the Nicene Creed and the Apostolic Creed.

The Orthodox Church accepts the creed of Nicaea, but neither the apostolic creed nor the Creed of Athanasius.

 

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,

maker of Heaven and earth and of all things

visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus

Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten

of his Father before all ages, God of God,

Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,

not made, consubstantial with the

Father, by Whom all things were made; Who

for us men and for our salvation, came down

from Heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy

Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man;

He was crucified also for us under Pontius

Pilate, and was buried. And the

third day He rose again according to the

Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven. He

sitteth at the right hand of the Father: and He shall

come again with glory to judge the living

and the dead: and His Kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and

Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and

the Son, Who, together with the Father and the Son,

is adored and glorified: Who spoke by the

prophets. And I believe in one holy Catholic and

apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism

for the remission of sins. And I expect the resurrection

of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/creeds.htm

This Catholic creed draws, in my opinion, attention to the following emphatically mentioned points:

  • God’s only begotten Son was born of God the Father before the beginning of time.
  • The Son has the same essence as the Father, and through him , everything is created
  • The Son descended from Heaven and became a human
  • The Son rose from the dead on the third day
  • The Holy Spirit departs from the Father and the Son and is worshiped together with the Father and the Son
  • The Church is one, Apostolic and Catholic
  • There is one baptism, for the remission of sins

 

The Bible says that Jesus was born of the Father after the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary. Above, Jesus is said to have been born of God. Some interpret the Bible as meaning that Jesus would have been with God in Heaven, and from there, God would send him to earth. The Bible also testifies that Jesus is also a man in Heaven. Was Christ a man in Heaven with the Father at the beginning of time?

Was Jesus the first man, before Adam and Eve? If Adam and Eve were the first people, Jesus has not been in Heaven as a man, but as a Divine Son of God. On the other hand, God is above man; when he ascended to Heaven as a man and is still a man, he did not regain his former status as God. Or can a man be God?

This can set in motion the wrong kind of chains of reasoning. Perhaps Jesus was not in Heaven before he ascended there.

The Bible also testifies that the Father created everything in the world. The Son’s role is the leadership of the coming Millennial Kingdom and beyond that – the High Priest. After all, the priest is God’s “supreme worshiper” – though the throne of Christ is hardly taken away from him.

Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. According to the Bible, God the Father raised Jesus after being dead for three days and three nights (See Act 2:24, 4:10, 10:40, 13:30, 13:37, 1 Cor 6:14). Some argue that because Jesus was God, He raised Himself.

The Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit. Jehovah’s Witnesses say of the Holy Spirit that it is “God’s power in action, his active force.” Catholics would like to see that there is only one church – a Catholic. It is the largest church with 1.4 billion members. Unfortunately, over the two millennia, the apostolic attribute has largely eroded the Church’s nature and the nature of its activities.

Christians are baptized as small babies, but many take a second baptism as an adult after experiencing the presence and blessing of God’s Holy Spirit in their lives.

All of us born anew look forward to the resurrection and life as God’s co-workers in the New World.

 

Pope’s position

Mat 16:18 I also say to you that you are Peter (Gr. Πέτρος Petros), and upon this rock (Gr. πέτρα Petra) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Catholics gladly understand this verse that Jesus promised to build his church on Peter. Peter is in Greek Petros Πέτρος, which means stone. However, Jesus said he would build his church on Petra πέτρα; Petra means big rock, bedrock. The bedrock is undoubtedly Christ.

Another reason used to emphasize Peter’s position is that Jesus promised Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; the person whom Peter binds on earth shall be bound in Heaven and vice versa. Mat 16:19 “I will give to you [Peter] the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.”

Note: The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were not given by Jesus to Peter alone, but all the apostles: Mat 18:18 Most assuredly I [Jesus] tell you [apostles], whatever things you will bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever things you will release on earth will be released in Heaven.

The apostle Peter is generally considered to be the first pope of the Catholic Church. The history of the papacy is deemed to have begun when he gave the Kingdom of Heaven’s keys to the apostle Peter, elevating him to be the leader of all the other apostles. Admittedly, the first theological arguments for the papacy were not presented until the mid-3rd century. There is no consensus on interpretations, as historical and theological views do not fully meet. Depending on the interpretations, the papacy history can be considered to have begun either from the year 33 or, at the latest, from the 7th century. After all, it was initially a question of the bishop of Rome’s office, and this can be considered to have existed since the time of the Roman Empire. It is possible that it was established during the generation of apostles.

The basis of the papal status was the office of the bishop of Rome. There is no historical evidence that Peter ever was in the city of Rome, let alone that he was the first bishop of Rome. The status of the Pope, or bishop of Rome, did not differ much from that of other bishops (in the big cities’ congregations). It was not until the beginning of the second millennium when members of the College of Cardinals carried out the Pope’s election, that the power of the Pope became stronger, and the Pope became the head of the entire Catholic Church.

Around the turn of the millennium and beyond to the Middle Ages, the group of popes was variegated, mostly self-interested.

Here are a few examples:

Stephanus (Steven) VI (896-897) excavated the body of his predecessor from the grave for trial. Although Stephen VI won the trial against the body, the Pope was still imprisoned and strangled.

Sergius III (897-911) ordered the assassination of another pope. He gave birth to an unmarried son who later became Pope.

John XII was charged in 963 with numerous crimes: he was accused of consecrating a deacon in a stable, appointing a 10-year-old son as Bishop of Todi, turning the Lateran Palace into a brothel, raping female pilgrims in St. Peter’s Church, and stealing church donations.

The list goes on: A Pope was accused of raising cups for the devil and asking for help from a pagan god like Venus while playing the dice.

Source: https://www.oddee.com/?s=pope

The Inquisition represents the darkest part of the Catholic Church, and Innocent IV is to be thanked for beginning to gain confessions of heresy through torture. And so on.

Catholics remained in line despite these crazy popes. Other believers, primarily if they had heard what the popes were, opposed the Catholic Church to the best of their ability. However, the grip of the church was tight. With severe discipline and intimidation, the congregation was kept in check.

 

What are the popes striving for?

To maximize one’s power, the goal was stated in Pope Boniface VIII’s (1294–1303) bullet Unam sanctam in 1302. In the end, it declares: “Furthermore, we declare, say, and define that it is necessary to be submissive to the Pope of Rome for the salvation of all human beings.

The Catholic Church strives for power. Everyone must be Catholic. The latest resort is the ecumenical movement led by the Catholic Church. The Christian brotherhood is just a veil that obscures the aspirations of Catholics for power.

However, the Catholic Church is the great Babylon described in the Bible, headquartered in a city of seven hills. That is what Revelation calls for: 18:4″ I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues,”

The doctrine of two natures, Divine and human, which exists in the person of Jesus Christ, was formulated by Leo I (Pope 440-461) and proclaimed by the Council of Chalcedon (451). It is a declaration of ExCathedra. Such a proclamation is meant to be an infallible, divine proclamation binding on the whole Church and intended forever.

The Catholic Church is sure of this: “For this reason, such people cannot be saved, even though they know that God established the Catholic Church through Jesus Christ, necessary for salvation, but do not want to join or remain in it.” (Lumen gentium, 14.)

– Really, I didn’t know it was God and Jesus Christ who founded the Catholic Church.

 

Who is God?

The Bible, especially OT, understands that talking about God means talking about God the Father. The Old Testament, or Tanakh’s conception of God, was strictly monotheistic. There was no one else besides God. “I alone created the world… who was with me?

Were the Jews wrong from the beginning?

When God chose them as his people and revealed himself to them, didn’t God mention that in addition to him, divinity includes his Son Jesus and God’s own spirit, the Holy spirit? Or, hadn’t God the Father then decided to include in the “heavenly leadership group” his Son and one of his spirits?

When God the Father revealed himself and his will through the prophets, he did reveal a future prophet and a faithful servant of God, his Son. For thousands of years, God’s own people believed that their God, Jehovah, was one and only. There was no one else besides him.

Why is the central question of faith not clarified unequivocally and in the word of God, the Bible, without problems of interpretation? Why has God allowed his people to be confused and destroyed around the world? Why has God allowed the New Testament humanity to be divided into numerous denominations and doctrinal quarrels? 

God is one.  1 Tim 2:5 “There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and human beings — a human, Christ Jesus.” It does not say: God is one but consists of three persons. As you read this verse with thought, you will find: God is one (means only one).

There is also one mediator between God and man. The fact that this function of an arbitrator is separated into a different sentence without associating it with God shows that it is not about God. It means that in addition to God, there is one arbitrator.

The mediator is a man, and this man is Jesus Christ. One can say that the church has decided that Jesus is both man and God. This, in my view, was intended to describe the nature of Jesus on earth. Surely the Church did not think that in Heaven Jesus would continue to be human? The Church must have thought that when Jesus ascended to Heaven, he would take back God’s nature and not remain human.

Does God mean to come forth through Christ or the Holy spirit to end this two-millennium controversy over faith? Or does God want the current fragmentation and strife to continue? At least it seems clear that humanity itself cannot unite, even in this one, the most important question of faith — the question of God’s nature.

I think I hope in vain. There is no promise of divine intervention. How do I know this is not happening?

Satan’s grip will only tighten, and the Christian churches will not find each other. Luke 18: 8 “… Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” However, God has a plan for the future of the world and mankind, and we know that the plan will be fulfilled after the Last Judgment.

I have thought about the nature of God; my article  Is God Three-in-One or Two-in-One or Just One?

 

Is the Son of God also an equal God? 

According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit ‘overshadowed’ the virgin Mary and made her pregnant. I interpret the Bible’s narrative as God the Father chose the young Virgin Mary and instructed God’s spirit to bring Mary into pregnancy. Not that the Holy spirit traveled around Israel and then chose Mary as the mother of Jesus. It was the Father who chose, and his spirit carried out the will of God.

I understand the Holy spirit can influence that man, and man is ‘born again.’ The process of spiritual birth is just as difficult to explain. Still, explaining its outcome — man’s rebirth — is easier for me than getting pregnant by ‘shadowing.’ The Bible says that “Satan went to Judah” and caused him to deceive Jesus. How did Satan “go” to Judah, and how did the Holy spirit “go” to Mary and get her pregnant? What is this “shadowing”? Can anyone explain?

One might think that the Son of God the Father inherited divinity from the Father. It is hardly possible that Jesus inherited and 50 percent of the Deity and 50 percent of humanity. Then comes the idea that he was a human being on earth, so his divinity was covered under humanity.

I say Jesus was fully human on earth. We can deduce that from his own testimony. Jesus said that the miracles he performed were not of him but God. Joh 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works.

The doctrine of Jesus’ two natures says that Jesus was both a full man and a full God on earth. Couldn’t the God in Jesus have performed the miracles that Jesus performed? Why God the Father did them and not the other side of Jesus, God. Jesus said God lived in him. There was no independent God in Jesus when God the Father dwelt in him and performed these miracles. I’m sure this doctrine of dual nature is not true; Jesus never even let know that he had half of God in him too!

I bring up one more thought of the nature of Jesus. If we start from the idea that Jesus is truly and fully human, then we should not think of Jesus as a person. Jesus was indeed the image of God, that is, the kind of human God created man, and the kind of man saved people will become.

According to Jesus, people will have extraordinary powers, no matter how difficult things may seem, such as moving mountains. Admittedly, Jesus said that he does not do the miraculous things that the Bible tells us about but did them by the power of God.

It is probably a question of harnessing such forces to a man in God’s New World: Joh 14:12 “Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father.”

Php 2:9 Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lordto the glory of God the Father.

Jesus Christ is Lord. What does it mean? The Lord means one who belongs to Godhead. That does not mean that Jesus is equal to God the Father. Act 2:36 “Therefore, let the whole house of Israel understand beyond a doubt that God made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ!” God has made Jesus Lord. Stop for a moment to think about what it means for the Deity of Jesus. Isn’t God the one who has always been, that is, eternal? Second: can one make someone else God?

What does it mean that Jesus is Lord? A small parable. The President of the Republic may promote a General as Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces. The commander-in-chief is the commander of all soldiers of the army. In the same way, Jesus, whom God had exalted as Lord and Christ, is above all in Heaven and earth. Only he who exalted Jesus to this high position is superior to Jesus. I have written about Jesus in the Chapter “God, man and the angels.”

 

Father and Son 

The following Bible verse is essential to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son: 1 Cor 15:28  When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.

When will all be submitted to the power of the Son? Although Jesus has been given all power both in Heaven and on earth, it does not mean that all men and all angels are subject to the power of the Son. I interpret this to happen when the Millennial Kingdom of Christ is over, Satan is freed, and Satan launches the last, desperate attempt to take over world domination. Satan will suffer a defeat, and he and his helper Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of fire forever. Then follows the final judgment and the associated penalties.

THEN the world is in the hands of the Son, and the Son gives all power back to God the Father.

THEN the Son will be submitted to the power of God, and the Son will forever act as the High Priest of God.

THEN, God is all in all, and people are God’s co-workers, performing the tasks God has given them.

The answer to the question of the title is: Jesus is not equal with God the Father. 

Jesus did on earth as God the Father commanded him. Jesus also does in Heaven as the Father wants him to do. Jesus is defined as a member of the GodheadI accept this definition, but not that all three members are equal.

Of course, this is the subject of a doctrinal dispute. It would be good for people to realize that pagan beliefs played a central role in the exaltation of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit as God in the sacrament. First, everyone should understand that people and their meetings and the doctrines decided upon in meetings cannot exalt anyone to be God. They only represent the doctrines of the people that the Bible warns against, giving them no place. The solution must, therefore, be found in the Bible.

Of course, this is the subject of a doctrinal dispute. It would be good for people to realize that pagan beliefs played a central role in the exaltation of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit as God in the synod. First, everyone should understand that people and their meetings and the doctrines decided upon in synods cannot exalt anyone to be God. They only represent the doctrines of people that the Bible warns not to give them any place. The solution must, therefore, be found in the Bible.

There was a heated debate about the Deity of Jesus in the 300s and 400s. I am sure that the solution was not found in the Bible, but the pursuit of power of the Catholic Church. The problem was how to get the big, partly still pagan nations to embrace Christianity. The answer was to offer a Christianity that the Gentiles recognized as familiar. The three-person Deity was already familiar to the Gentiles. Second, by formulating the synod’s decisions as conforming to the Catholic definition, the Catholic Church was made the faith’s sole authority. He who did not follow the (catholic) Creed of the Church had to pay for it – with his life.

Such coercion for faith or lechery and violence of many popes did not unite Christians or associate dissenters with the Catholic Church.

 

What is logos, the word of God?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church defines “Jesus Christ as the Word of God. When capitalized, the Word (Gr. Logos) therefore means Christ. The Christ or Logos was already present in the creation of the world when the Creator, the Father, created the world. So the world was created through Logos.”

In old Bible writings, such as the Psalms and Proverbs, God’s word is understood in the abstract. “By the word of God are the heavens made,” and, “he said, and it was done,” Proverbs tell of the creation of the world. These verses have been interpreted to confirm that the Son of God was involved in the creation; “When he made the heavens, I was there” (Prov 8:27).

The Epistle to the Hebrews, also misunderstood, is evidence of how the Son has been involved in the creation of the world:” Heb 1:2  “has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.” 

What is the truth?

Psa 33:6 “By the word of Jehovah the heavens have been made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap. He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear Jehovah. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

9 For he spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood firm.”

Elsewhere in the Bible, God says Isa 44:24 “… I am Yahweh, who makes all things; who stretches forth the heavens alone; who spreads abroad the earth – who was with me?

What do we learn from this? Things should not be solved based on one verse or form a lesson without taking into account what the Bible says elsewhere.

Is Jesus’ involvement in the creation of the world confirmed by the following verses:

Pro 8:27 When he established the heavens, I was there; When he set a circle on the surface of the deep, 28 When he established the clouds above, When the springs of the deep became strong, 29 When he gave to the sea its boundary, that the waters should not violate his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth;

Pro 1:20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares.

3:19 Jehovah by wisdom did found the earth, he prepared the heavens by understanding.

Jer 10:12 He [God] has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens (also 51:15):

In the post-apostolic times, he was not considered the God who had been with his Father before creating the world and came down from there into Mary’s womb and was born human. The word of God came to Jesus as it came before him to John the Baptist (Luke 3:2), and through that word, Jesus received the Holy spirit of God for himself. Jesus put it this way, “God dwells in him.” Jesus proclaimed the word of God he had received from his Father to his disciples and other hearers.

Joh 12:49 “For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”

14:24 “He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.”

17:5 “Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed. 7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you, 8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”

Joh 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works.

What does it mean when the Bible says Jesus is called the Word of God? Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called “The Word of God.”

– God created the world with His word; that is, He gave the command, and it was carried out. Christ is God’s Word because his work on earth was to preach about God’s Kingdom and the world to come, in the creation of which Christ is involved.

Paul had told beforehand that wolves would come into the church after he would not spare the flock (Act 20:29). V. 30 says: “Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

They lack the love of God and the Holy Ghost, which is why they have hated the true disciples of Jesus and their teaching. We know from history how Catholic fathers hated the Arians and other Christians they called heretics. Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

Over time, popes, bishops, or other leaders whose activities have been very unchristian, have risen to lead these denominations. This has been experienced by both the largest Christian church and small churches such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. 1 Joh 4:3 But every spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world.

 

Will a believer go to Heaven when he dies?

People generally believe that good people get to Heaven after they die and evil people go to hell. The Bible does not say that. It says that no one has ascended into Heaven except Jesus Christ. The dead cannot be in Heaven because the dead know nothing. The dead lie in their graves, waiting for the promised resurrection.

Why don’t priests correct these false beliefs? Would it not be right to seek the truth in all matters of faith? Funny, but all denominations claim the truth is in their doctrine.

 

Difficulty of interpretation

I have criticized God that he has not directed the Bible’s writing to be free of interpretation disputes. On the other hand, no fundamental doctrine has been left to a single verse. I can say that the more important the issue, the more points and in more ways it is referred to reduce the possibility of misinterpretations. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the most central doctrine in the Bible in explaining God’s nature, is not described in any verse. Nor is the doctrine of the dual nature of Jesus.

Another example: when will the Kingdom of God come?

Luke 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.

From verse 21, one could deduce that the inner Kingdom of God would already be here. The reasoning is: “The coming of the Kingdom of God is not preceded by signs or wonders; it’s already here. Jesus believed that the long-awaited Kingdom of God was breaking into the world in him and in his work. He invited all the people he met to step inside it.” – Read my article on preterists who believe Jesus has already come and established his invisible Millennial Kingdom.

Did Jesus mean that the Kingdom of God was really in the Pharisees? Or, did Jesus mean that it was in the Pharisees internally, but the Pharisees did not notice it because… (?) Or did Jesus mean that the Kingdom of God, when it comes, will also come to the Pharisees, if they know how to look inside, they will find the Kingdom of God there?

Joh 3:3, “Jesus replied to him, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [Or born again] he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” What does it mean to see the Kingdom of God if the Kingdom is within people? Would the word ‘feel’ be more correct?

Mar 1:15 He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near! Repent, and keep believing in the gospel!” – Jesus stated several times that the Kingdom of God had come near, no more.

Yes, the Bible is a work that needs interpretation. And that’s why the religious field is so fragmented. But anxiety about interpretation does not mean that Christians with different opinions have to go at loggerheads, but they have to study and argue in a constructive spirit and be patient with brethren who disagree with them. The Bible says: 1 Joh 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

 

Bible errors

There are errors in the Bible. What is the difference between error and counterfeiting? The error is unintentional; the author or copier was not intended to produce a mistake. An example of this is the number of Solomon’s horses of 4,000 or 40,000.

There may also be an error in interpretation. It is not always possible to say whether an error is unintentional or intentional. In intentionality, the motive is often decisive; for example, when the Bible says, ‘The Word was God’ (John 1: 1). The correct translation is; God was the word’. It’s hard to believe the mistake was unintentional. It is hard to believe that countless Bible translations would have deliberately reversed this scripture of John. Indeed, some translations have corrected the sentence’s word order to be correct, but many still persevere with the old, incorrect word order that makes the Word God.

On what day of the week was Christ crucified? Was it Wednesday, as I have written, or Friday, as the Churches argue? The day doesn’t matter, but the thing itself; that Christ was crucified to atone for our sins.

The following point also matters to the greatest extent possible. The Catholic Church developed the doctrine of the two natures of Jesus; according to it, he has man’s nature and the nature of God. When God cannot die, this doctrine explains that Jesus died only for human nature. God did not die in him. This made the Deity of Jesus possible. The Catholic Church has proclaimed the doctrine of the dual nature of Christ in the following ecclesiastical assemblies, among others: Ephesus in 431, Chalcedon in 451, and Constantinople in 553. The Pope has declared the Catholic doctrine of Christ Ex Cathedra, which means the doctrine is official and eternal.

The nature of Christ was divided into two parts: human nature and divine nature. Those who developed the doctrine explained everything human due to the human nature of Jesus and everything supernatural to his divine nature. Jesus himself acknowledged all the supernatural, or miracles, performed by Jesus by God’s power. Had Jesus had a divine nature, he would not have had to receive God’s help in resurrecting from the dead or giving the blind his sight back. God the Father exalted his Son to be Lord and Christ. In this way, Jesus was exalted as part of Godhead — not as God, but as God’s closest co-worker and ruler of all creation. Jesus is also a human in Heaven, a role model for other people who, as God’s co-workers, will in time do great deeds as Jesus did.

 

The authenticity of biblical writings

Is the author what is being said, or is the author someone else? For example, the apostle’s assistant? When were the writings written? Scholars date the oldest New Testament writings to 50-65 AD. The writings of the apostles began to be copied and distributed to the churches. They form the backbone of the scriptures as early as the first century. Biblical writings to be read in the Apocrypha began to appear in the second century, but they have proved unreliable and have therefore been left out of the Bible. However, the Catholic Church has included some in their Bible, and thus they have become part of the word of the Bible.

When Tanakh was copied, a check count was performed by counting each letter, thus at least ensuring that nothing was omitted or added. This was not the case for NT; the new copy could end up, for example, with the addition of the copied monk to the margin. The next copier could incorporate it into the actual text, believing it had been forgotten.

 

Is there any scientific evidence?

When years ago I included on my site an article about the Bible numeric code found and explained by Ivan Panin, I thought that this is mathematical and therefore absolutely conclusive proof of the accuracy of the biblical text.

This could be the case if there were not one significant flaw in Panin’s proof. Panin adds up the numeric values of the letters in a certain number of Bible words. When he divides the sum by seven, and if the division goes even, it shows, according to Panin, that God has “verified” the correctness of the text.

Where is the lack of proof? Who determines how many words or paragraphs are included in the review? If at least one long sentence is taken and the sum of the letters of its words divided by 7, it doesn’t go even. What to do? Well, let’s take more words and count again. Yes, at some point, the sum is divisible by 7.

Once Panin has used this method to clarify the entire Greek New Testament, the proof would be much more plausible if he had marked in the text the passages where the counting has been stopped and a new text section to be divided by seven begins.

In the current computer age, it would be relatively easy to get a computer to go through the entire Greek NT and verify episodes divisible by 7. Now we rely on the honesty of Panin; I believe we can trust Panin’s 50 years of Bible study and his honesty. Panin’s idea of a divine code could be a sure testimony to the Bible’s correctness and the unadulterated of its word — if only the affidavit had been completed as I suggested.

I picked one example from his description, which I have included in my article on the subject.

 

Christianity in the main Churches is based on a misinterpretation

The main pillars of this misinterpretation are:

1) God is triune

2) Jesus is both God and man

3) The Holy Spirit is the third independent and an equal divine person with others

The nature of Deity has been the subject of several ecclesiastical meetings since the Council of Nicaea in 325. At these meetings, it was decided that God is triune. Without this faith, the man was not considered to be saved. Even today, a Church that does not believe in God’s Trinity is not even considered Christian. Such a statement is intended to express that the members of the non-Christian denominations in question do not meet even the minimum condition of Christianity. In other words, these believe so wrong that they cannot be saved.

The teachings about the Triune God and the eternal torment in hell, locked about 1,500 years ago, are firmly rooted in the teaching of both the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. Believers can hardly get rid of these doctrines if they are thirsty for the truth, sometimes without caring for their lives. However, the Spirit of God encourages Christ’s own to seek the truth. Even in smaller denominations, internal discipline is harsh; the opponent may be separated, after which the friends of these separated and relatives begin to shun the separated. Combining God’s word and the truth is not always easy.

When Emperor Constantine the Great converted to the Catholic faith in the 310s, church leaders began to enact laws against the Arians and other “sects” they considered heretical. The encroachment on property and freedom of speech started to treat dissidents. Next, it was the deportees’ turn, and finally, the anabaptists and the antitrinitarians were ordered to be killed under Roman law after Catholicism had become the state religion in the 390s.

When we came to the Middle Ages, the Reformers Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin enacted these laws in their own countries in Central Europe, and so the blood of Christians has been shed by other Christian brethren. There have also been long wars, such as the 30-year war in the early 17th century.

The Council of Nicaea in 325 ended up establishing the following doctrinal setup: the essence (i.e., nature) of the Father and the Son is common, and the Son is neither inferior nor separate from the Father, but together and at the same time separately represent the simultaneous hereafter of one God.

Jesus’ two natures, Divine, and human were shaped during several centuries. The doctrine of dual nature reached its most final form at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This only shows that people have not understood the message of the Bible. In summary, I can say in my interpretation that

– Jesus was born human

– Jesus died as a human being

– Jesus is a human in Heaven

For most, the third point is incomprehensible. 1 Tim 2:5, however, testifies: “There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and human beings—a human, Christ Jesus.”

It is clear from the verse that God is one (not a triune), and there is only one mediator between God the Father and man, the man Jesus Christ. There is no mention of the Virgin Mary as a mediator.

Believers in the Deity of Jesus ignore the fact that the Bible does not testify of the Deity of Jesus. Even a couple of passages that could be considered evidence turn out to be errors when examined further. If such a central doctrine is not found in the Bible and the whole doctrine is not confirmed in the Church until 451, believers would think something is wrong. The Bible warns us to believe in human-made doctrines.

Jesus is admitted to be the man born of the Virgin Mary. How did Maria get pregnant? According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and made her pregnant. Besides, it is generally believed that Jesus was in Heaven with the Father before his birth. It is also part of this faith that Jesus has been creating our world with God the Father.

Did Jesus even speak to his apostles that he is God or part of divinity? Did he say he created the world with his Father? Did he say he was equal in divinity with the Father and the Holy spirit?

The essence of God is, in my opinion, the most crucial teaching the Bible gives to mankind. When God sent His Son into the world, he must have commissioned the Son to tell this most critical thing concerning mankind. However, as three billion Christians have not reached a consensus on this issue, the matter has not become apparent. Because the problem is essential and everyone (others) have misunderstood it, religious controversies result – even religious wars.

In the early centuries, people did not believe that Jesus was God equal to the Father. They brought a strong seed of dispersal into the Church. Gradually, this doctrine evolved into the Triune God’s Catholic doctrine, in which Jesus is exalted high as the almighty God and who created everything with the Father.

Did you pay attention to the fact that I wrote: “Over the centuries, the doctrine of the triune deity evolved.” Shouldn’t there be a doctrine in the Bible that clarifies the most important question of faith?

The Church Fathers did not find it. Perhaps they wanted to make a clear distinction between Judaism and its central element – the oneness of God.

No key doctrine is left in the Bible on a single verse. The more critical the doctrinal question, the more points and ways it is referred to reduce the possibility of misinterpretations. All the more reason for doctrines to be rejected, such as the doctrines developed by the Church itself concerning the Triune God or the doctrine of the dual nature of Jesus, for whom no Bible verse can be found to defend it.

And the Deity is explained in the Bible, not only in the OT but also in the NT, stated many times: God is one, and God is Father Jehovah.

The doctrine of Triune God had to be developed over the centuries, and the doctrine’s content quarreled. It testifies that the Bible’s word was not open to the Churches, but Satan managed to confuse their minds. And still succeeds. 2 Cor 4:4 “In their case, the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.”

As for the Holy SpiritI stated that it is considered the third independent and equal person with others. The most significant Bible statement about the Holy Ghost is about mocking the Holy Ghost. It cannot be forgiven. On this basis, the Holy Spirit would be the most important and high-ranking person in the Trinity of God.

There are no characterizations of the Holy Spirit in the Bible that would confirm the Holy Spirit’s independence in the same way that God the Father is and also the Son. According to one characterization, the Holy Spirit is the working or executive power of God. In the Bible, God the Father has sent the Holy Ghost and given by His command the action which the Holy Ghost has carried out. In one of my writings, I described the Holy Spirit’s character as Paul did: In his writings, Paul sent greetings to the Churches in the name of God and Christ, but not once greetings from the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit were a person and the Father and the Son, of course, Paul would have included the Holy Spirit in his greetings.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, one of the seven spirits. The mockery of the Holy Spirit hits God directly. Therefore, the Bible says it will not be forgiven. I described the Holy Spirit and made a comparison with the human conscience. The Holy spirit explores even the depths of God, and in the case of people, will examine and evaluate their work.

Get out of it!

If you have concluded that the church of which you are a member does not follow the word of the Bible but acts against it, then Rev 18:4 calls: “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you don’t participate in her sins, and suffer from her plagues.”

 

What should you believe to be saved?

The nature of Deity has been the subject of several ecclesiastical meetings since the Council of Nicaea in 325. At these meetings, it was decided that God is triune. Without this faith, a man was not considered to be saved. Even today, a Church that does not believe in God’s Trinity is not even considered Christian. Such a statement is intended to express that the non-Christian denomination members in question do not meet even the minimum condition of Christianity. In other words, these believe so wrong that they cannot be saved.

What did Jesus say? Luk 6:37 “Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”In the 4th century, a creed named after Bishop Athanasius became established, which says of divinity: “We worship one God, the Trinity, and the Trinity, one God, without confusing persons and disintegrating the divine essence. The Father has his personality, the Son has his own, and the Holy Spirit has his own, but the divinity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is one, their glory is equal, and their majesty is equal.

At the end of the creed of Athanasius, it is clearly stated: “This is the Catholic faith, that those who do good will enter into eternal life, those who do evil will go into eternal fire. This is a common Catholic faith. He who does not believe it firmly and strongly cannot be saved!”

Is this requirement still valid? Some denominations make it clear what to believe: The Pentecostal website lists what to believe: “The Bible is the word of God and the only basis of the teaching. Then they continue: To the Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” etc. — The list began promisingly. Then comes the clarification of believing in the Triune God. Where does the Bible teach about the Triune God?

Different denominations, especially the smaller ones, have their perceptions of salvation. Most rely on the Triune concept of God even more strictly than the Evangelical Lutheran Church. At least I haven’t heard it demanded in any worship service. Shouldn’t such an important thing be revealed in every turn?

Maybe the state Church thinks the matter is clear and not necessary to keep repeating it?

The demands of salvation are treacherously brought out, especially in small revival ??? movements. The needs for salvation are treacherously brought out, especially in small revivalist movements. For example: If you drink alcohol, you can’t get to Heaven! There may be a lot of other similar codes of conduct in these movements.

 

Salvation, by grace or by works?

The word makes salvation easy and straightforward: Act 16:31,” They said, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

– The recipe for salvation is simple; believe in the Lord Jesus! 1 Joh 4:15 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.”

When God has given each person the amount of faith according to God’s discretion, many have received only the minimum dose. When a person honestly believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, he is saved. The same is confirmed by Eph 2:8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast.”

However, the Bible speaks of judgment based on deeds!?

1 Pet 1:17″ If you call “Father” the one who judges everyone impartially according to what he has done, you must live in the fear of the Lord.”

Rev 20:12 “I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.

God has expressed His will for all to be saved. Which decides, faith, or deeds? This has been a difficult controversy that has divided both scholars and believers. Would the solution be this: Even the most minor believer in God and Christ is saved by grace. What about the billions of people who have never heard of God the Father or his Son? For these Gentiles, the right deeds can solve salvation.

Rom 2:15″ in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them.”

– If Gentiles who are entirely ignorant of God can be saved, then will not a believer who believes wrong somewhere be saved?

Indeed, with the final judgment, the vast majority of people condemned are Gentiles. If God wants to save everyone, and that is what He has said He wants, we must look for grounds other than faith among the Gentiles. Christ, who gives judgments, must consider a saving factor the deeds that arise from the hearts of men, which are defended by their consciences.

When a person truly begins to believe, he or she receives the Holy Ghost’s gift and is overwhelmed by a desire to learn and know more. In this case, it is good to study the gospels, for example. Paul advised: Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.”

With the advent of faith, a person’s desire to do works of faith also increases.

 

What is the right faith? 

In Lutheran confessional books, we read: He [God] wants to justify and have mercy and take as His children and heirs of eternal life all those who, by making true repentance, receive Christ with true faith.

Nothing is startling here on first reading, but then the attention is drawn to two words: true faith. The right faith, of course, is Lutheran, according to Lutherans. The Lutheran faith is explained, e.g., in the Books of Acknowledgments. Catholics, the largest Christian church, have their self-defined doctrine of faith.

All denominations of Christianity have their interpretations and doctrines. They will be adhered to by all means. Not everyone even agrees to discuss doctrinal issues. All of these have in common that they define the true faith recognized by each religious movement. If one member does not accept this, the consequences can be dramatic; a member may be dismissed, he may be shunned, he may be denied services to members. He may even be denied the opportunity for salvation. That is, he will be assigned to hell with Satan. The fathers of the Church who decided this did not remember God’s instruction through Luke 6:37: “Don’t judge, And you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.”

During the so-called Reformation, the Catholic Inquisition persecuted heretics, such as Cathars. Thousands of heretics were persecuted and killed. Not only witches but also disbelieving Christians were burned at stake. In addition to the Catholics, this was also committed by the Reformation supporters, and even Luther recommended to his princes that they kill the rebellious peasants. The latter had begun to interpret and preach the Bible themselves. According to biblical instruction, we must also love our enemies, and in some places, our Christian brothers, who believe differently, are not even our enemies. Luther seemed to have forgotten this!

What is true faith? I would say that it is the faith of Christ that the Apostles, inspired by God, proclaimed and recorded during the first century. The original texts have not been preserved, but they are close to the texts from which the New Testament, which corresponds well to the original, has been reconstructed. The problem is translating and interpreting the text. I have written about this in my article, wherein I try to shed light on translation and interpretation problems in light of examples. The deeper one delves into the Bible, the more difficult it becomes. There is no such thing as a wholly unambiguous and universally accepted interpretation!

As our God Jehovah knows everything in advance, he must have seen this confusion of interpretations. Why didn’t he put an unmistakable message in the mouths of his prophets? Perhaps God wanted us to compete and strive for the truth.

However, the doctrines central to salvation are clear. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he who believes in him and cries out his name for help will be saved. Many biblical phrases like this have a clear interpretation. God also expects those who seek salvation to love the truth and seek to find out about it by studying the Bible. It has not always been possible. The vernacular Bibles only began to be read by people about five hundred years ago. Today, it is possible to study the Bible in the most diverse ways possible with the Internet’s help. Tiny is the group that does this. “Many are called, but few are chosen” – that is how it is.

Jesus also encouraged believers to do their best to achieve salvation: Luk 13:24″ Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in, and will not be able. In these writings, I am not seeking to claim that what I write is the absolute truth. Find out for yourself, like the Bereans who did not believe the apostle Paul, before confirming from the scriptures whether it was true what Paul had spoken. (Act 17:11).

So, study the Bible and form your understanding. The most important thing is that you have a love for the truth. Joh 8:32″ You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Mat 7:7” Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.” Jam 4:8 Come close to God, and he will come close to you.

Someone has aptly said that God saves sinners — not saints. Salvation belongs to all who just ask for it. I have a long time pondered whether salvation is easy or difficult. Based on a Bible verse, it seems to be easy and straightforward, and on the other hand, there are many instructions and direct commandments in the Bible that a believer must follow to be saved.

The Bible also says that God has given faith a different amount for each person. As that is the case, you would think that salvation is more effortless for some and harder for others – disbelievers. Maybe it is as I have written in the article “Two different ways for salvation”: Anyone who has received from God a lot of faith and makes a lot of works of the Kingdom with the power of faith will be saved in the first resurrection in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. Those whose faith is not so great or everyday problems press on, receive their salvation at the last judgment.

Judgment begins in the house of God. 1 Pet 4:17,” For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the gospel of God?” Peter refers not only to the apostles but also to all the teachers of God’s word. James says Jam 3:1,” Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.”

The role of teachers is, therefore, to be weighed first and with a more accurate scale. What does it mean that the inhabitants of the house of God are the first to be judged? They are involved in the first resurrection. They will have eternal life and be able to follow Christ and reign with Him for a thousand years, or if they prove themselves to teach a false gospel, they will receive judgment — and be eternally separated from God. In particular, Paul warns teachers to be careful in teaching the gospel. In his letter to Galatians, he emphatically says Gal 1:8,” But even though we, or an angel from Heaven, should preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.” 9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any gospel other than that which you received, let him be cursed.” – Emphatical text when it is still said in two consecutive verses.

It does not at all a matter of indifference what kind of gospel is proclaimed in the church. Have the priests of the churches considered the doctrine they claim as truth? If parishioners were asked what they regarded as the gospel’s most important message, the answers would probably be divided among several alternatives. After all, would even the priests agree on the most central message of the gospel?

What does it mean that God has given each person a different amount of faith? How could these two aspects be related?

The fact that God has given each one his amount of faith certainly has some purpose. Otherwise, God could have given everyone precisely the same amount so that the starting point would be the same for everyone. We also know that God had chosen people for His purposes before the beginning of time and later called them. Although God has given some people an advantage, God wants everyone to be saved:1 Tim 2:4 [God] who wants all people to be saved and come to a full knowledge of the truth.

Different amounts of faith can be seen in a person’s life. For example, in the case of a person of much faith devoting his or her life to studying the Bible and spreading the Kingdom’s news. Someone who had less faith is working with everyday things and maybe seldom going to church. Both can be pleasing to God, and both can be saved; the former perhaps participating in the first resurrection and the second only in the last resurrection.  Some decisions of the Catholic Church’s ecclesiastical synods have required Church members to believe in the creeds at the risk of being otherwise lost in perdition. Fear of hell has kept people obedient—the Catholic Church forbidding laypeople to explain and preach God’s word. By prohibiting the Bible’s translation into people’s language until the 16th century, religion’s teaching was a prerogative of the priestly class. Even Luther had a blind spot in this matter.

In modern times, man is free to decide whether or not to believe. There are thousands of different churches and different interpretations of the Bible in the world. How can a person know whether the faith taught by his Church is correct? Not all religions can be right!

 

What about a person who believes wrong?

Many become anxious about this and cling to their church’s teachings, fearing what will happen to them if they depart from their own church’s faith.

I don’t think the final judgment will move anyone to the “left side” of Jesus because he made a mistake in believing some question of faith. Even in the big question, such as the question of the Deity of Jesus or the Trinity of God, the believer is allowed to err.

Man must have “love of the truth in order to be saved.” 2 The 2:10 says emphatically: and every type of evil to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. Church history is full of cases in which dissidents will be condemned, persecuted, and killed. We humans should not sentence another person to perdition for false faith: Luk 6:37 Don’t judge, And you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, And you won’t be condemned. Set free, And you will be set free.

Jesus said according to Mat 15:8-9: “These people draw near to me with their mouth, And honor me with their lips; But their heart is far from me. 9 And in vain do they worship me, Teaching as doctrine rules made by men.” Mark said he continued with Isaiah words: Mar 7:8″ For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.”. 9 He said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Also Ezekiel described the outward golden faith of his people, saying that they “will hear your words, but they will not do according to them, for they will show love by their mouth, but their hearts will follow a false victory.”

What do these doctrines of human commandments and human traditions mean? They are doctrines and behaviors that are not from the Bible. I am convinced that the doctrines of a triune God and Jesus’ two natures – the two key doctrines of the faith – do not come from the Bible. They are comparable to human commands. Over the centuries, they have become man-made traditional rules. I ask: Shouldn’t the essential doctrines of Christianity be found in the Bible, accurately explained by Christ and the apostles?

Of course, they have been explained. In the absence of explanations from Christ and the apostles, resolutions have been provided by all possible Christian entities. The Bible is also said to support these doctrines, and scholars have written explanatory works about them that ordinary people do not understand. Ordinary people are incapable of taking a stand on these difficult doctrinal questions. Their thoughts revolve around the most modest questions and are often still ignorant and contrary to the instructions and spirit of the Bible.

A couple of examples: The Church of St. Peter in the Vatican has an iron statue of the Apostle Peter, where Peter stands barefoot. The other foot is worn very thin and smooth. Over the centuries, millions of people have superstitiously brushed Peter’s foot as they passed by, believing that it would bring them good luck. And another: There are numerous saints that people pray for, asking the saint to protect and preserve them. Millions of motorists keep a small charm of a saint in their car to protect them from accidents.

The celebration of the Feast of the Virgin Mary in South America was shown on television. The celebration was combined with the celebration of a centuries-old festival of a local pagan faith. The nun attending the celebration was interviewed, but she saw no contradiction in associating the Christian celebration with the local pagan celebration. Of the worship of the Virgin Mary, she said, “it is so wonderful.” The nun and the like have apparently not read in the Bible what it says about such a mixture of doctrines:” What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor 6:15)

A couple of examples: The Church of St. Peter in the Vatican has an iron statue of the Apostle Peter, where Peter stands barefoot. The other foot is worn very thin and smooth. Over the centuries, millions of people have superstitiously brushed Peter’s foot as they passed by, believing that it would bring them good luck. And another: There are numerous saints that people pray for, asking the saint to protect and preserve them. Millions of motorists keep a small charm of a saint in their car to protect them from accidents.

Some of the instructions in the Bible are no longer suitable for today. Some are intended, for example, for the people of Israel as they wander in the wilderness toward their own promised land. But care must be taken not to arbitrarily overturn the Bible’s commandments because they do not belong to this time or do not follow an equal society. Admittedly, some issues are complicated, and I have not taken a final position on the matter. As such, I can mention, for example, the so-called question, renewal of baptism. If someone wants to renew the baptism they received as a child, then why not. A few hundred years ago, such “anabaptists“, were persecuted by the Church and killed despite being deeply believing Christians.

 

What is the future of humanity and its believers?

I wrote above that a large proportion of people are waiting to enter Heaven after death. The Bible says that the dead in their graves know nothing. Would they be in Heaven then? That waiting is pointless. I’ll tell you why.

Jesus has promised to come back to earth. He brings wages when he comes. So, the wages are not distributed in Heaven, but Christ rewards his believers so that they rise from the dead in the first resurrection. The living ones of Christ will also join the first resurrection. Christ will lead his Millennial Kingdom with the resurrected. The ‘wages’ of faith are thus paid on earth.

What about the last judgment? After the Millennial Kingdom, there will be another resurrection, the “resurrection of judgment,” which takes place a thousand years later. If the dead had reached Heaven, should they now descend to earth and participate in the final judgment? What if they were convicted of an unfavorable verdict? They would not be able to return to Heaven again.

Indeed, the Bible says that no one has ascended into Heaven except Jesus Christ.

The portion of the saved is on earth, where God’s New World will be established. God the Father himself descends to earth in the New Jerusalem. The saved will work there as God’s co-workers.

 

 

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